Thursday, 8 October 2015


The Mercury, Tuesday 19 April, 1910
Edward Dischler, a barman, of Sydney,said that he was an able seaman onthe Waratah on the last voyage fromLondon to Sydney. Seamen in Londonadvised him not to join the vessel, andhe was told that Capt. Ilbery had saidthat either his reputation or thevessel would be lost. Mr. Owentold the men not to step too hardon the bottoms of the boats whenthey were painting them. 
He found one boat so soft and rotten that it would not take paint. Fire drill was never practised. 
In the Bay of Biscay the vessel wasrolling very badly. She appeared to bedead in the water, and to have a difficulty in keeping on an even keel. She couldnot ride head seas at all, but bumpedher nose right down into the trough ofwater, and seas broke right over her. Hewould not complete his voyage in her because he considered she was absolutelyunsafe. At Sydney he got a man to takehis place, and was paid off on June 10,1909. 
This commentary is one of a few describing the Waratah as dead in the water, bumping her nose right down into the trough of water, with seas breaking over her.
Whichever theory is postulated explaining the loss of theWaratah, we have to take cognizance of the repeated description of the Waratah being 'dead in the water', and plowing through oncoming swells, with seas breaking over her.
There has to be an explanation for such performance, andfrom a physics point of view the only explanation must surely be reduced buoyancy, created by functional overloading and reduced air spacesbelow the spar deck (buoyant force). This situation was further compounded by relatively under powered engines, particularly in bad weather.
To be honest, the Waratah's freeboard did not on any occasion exceed 10 ft. - not a healthy state of affairs.


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